Originally Posted by Hugh Jorgan
Was James Brown the Father of Funk? I know he was the Godfather. I forget.
No... James Brown RESISTED the force of funk for a while. What he do at first was make his horn lines part of the rhythm of the music. Take Cold Sweat. Before cold sweat horn lines were to punctuate the melody. In CS it defines the rhythm and cannot be separated from it without changing the song.
As many of you know, George Clinton ended up being the God Father of the Funk and thus was named "Salt" in my ingredients as that is in the forefront. So then, why, if I use a lot of Pepper, do I not list James Brown as Pepper instead of Larry Graham. Its funny, I really don't use ANY brown sugar in anything but sauces.... Little Richard, though, is White sugar and deserves to be.... its in lots of stuff. He is very very important and predates James as well.
Well therein lies the little story of how JB rejected the funk.
For a short time Larry was a Bassist for James Brown's ever revolving core of musicians. One day the drummer did not show and Larry simply provided the bass slap in replacement for percussion. Larry sis this as a child because his band at times did not have a good drummer. James utilized this for practice but did not want it in the shows, Larry was eventually cast out for a while as that was not the sound JB wanted. BUT by the late 1960's... he hired Boosty Collins, who also slapped, thumped and plucked the bass as well. Larry went on to use this technique in Sly's band and after Stone broke up as a result of Sly's drug adictions (and a silly crush on Doris day) Larry formed Graham Central.
But Sly and the family Stone had done something great - pushed the bass forward as a featured instrument, expanded the SIZE of the typical Band, Expanded the COMPLEXION, of the typical band, Expanded the AUDIENCE and subject material... all the while making it dancable.
This is the envirnment GC would pick up and go with it.
George Clinton - who was forming member of the 1950's do wop group The Parliaments (named after the ciggarettes). Now the name of the group is actually a real mess... GC had more trouble actually securing the NAME of a group than anyone ever. He lost the use of the "parliaments" for a while, the went with "Funkadelic" then got back the partial name "Parliament" and then I think by about the mid 70's was able to fuse those bands together to form Parliament Funkadelic. This tremoendous mobility and disloyalties that happned among sould bands (which is why he would legally lose rights to a name at times) eventually paid off in the environment it created.
Boosty Left JB, as did the Horny Horns and before long you had a HUGE LOAD of messy of slippery, shiney gooey Funk up in the womb onstage and dripping out all over the place it funky mess stankin up the universe. (You have to know the Funk and its early reviews to get this reference).
Behind the Driving Horzs, funky slapping and thumpin of the Bass (now the instrument is forced to prominence is a lineup) you also have Jimmy Hendricks influences, as in Cosmic Slop.
Sound Messy? So Is BBQ! It is Order out of Chaos.
So we have JB the Godfather of Soul and Soul Brutha Number One
And George Clinton who picked up the rejected bass fortunes of Bootsy, who learned (arguably) from Larry, and the Hornz and the goo that was expelled and united them to form a new music (FUNK) that in return got to be such a collosus that JB and everyone had to accept elements from it.
I forgot to say... Sly Stone is Tomato Paste and Family Stone if Ketchup. Or is the other way around... chit